Orfhlaith Begley: "This Isn't A Victory, It's Common Sense Prevailing"

16 June 2018, 18:24

The MP fighting the political corner for Billy Caldwell, the boy who was denied medicinal cannabis to treat his severe epilepsy, told Andrew Castle that she wouldn't call the decision to return his medicine a victory, but instead common sense prevailing.

Sinn Féin MP Orfhlaith Begley says that the Home Office decision to allow Billy Caldwell the medicinal cannabis prescribed by Canadian doctors as "common sense prevailing".

She told Andrew Castle that she has been in touch with the Home Office continuously, and it's been a "back and forth" exercise between the department and the Department of Health in Northern Ireland.

"Obviously the evidence was there, Billy is living proof that this medicine is working for him," she said.

"That it's stopping the seizures, and any of these seizures could be life threatening for Billy.

"This medication is needed, not only to stop these seizures, but to save his life."

Orfhlaith Begley with Charlotte and Billy Caldwell leaving the Home Office in London
Orfhlaith Begley with Charlotte and Billy Caldwell leaving the Home Office in London. Picture: PA

The medicinal cannabis was confiscated at Heathrow Airport on Monday as Billy's mother Charlotte returned with him from Canada, where doctors replenished their supplies.

Órfhlaith Begley broke the news on Twitter on Saturday that the medicine was going to be returned, after Billy was taken into hospital for suffering multiple seizures after coming off the medicine.

"I'm delighted to say that I have just spoken with Charlotte to tell her that I have received official confirmation that Billy is going to receive his medication and it is on its way," she said.

"Very relieved that our persistence has prevailed."